Sunday, April 08, 2007

Did the Supreme Court Just Do Us a Favor?

The five liberal judges on the Supreme Court, the same five who gave cities the right to confiscate the property of poor people in Kelo v. New London, just decided, against historical fact and scientific evidence, that the EPA should control CO2. Eventually, when the Democrats are in power, this might mean stringent controls on industrial plants, power plants and internal combustion engines – controls that will greatly increase costs and reduce efficiency – in order to limit a harmless substance that all plant life needs in order to grow.

There is a possibility, though, that this horrendous decision can be turned to the advantage of the average American worker. We have done considerable research recently on alternative fuels, and one thing is very clear: alternative fuels like wind power, solar power and biofuels will never, in the foreseeable future, provide more than a tiny portion of the energy we need. The only proven technology that can provide this energy at a competitive cost and with NO greenhouse gas emissions or particulates is nuclear energy. Hollywood and extreme environmentalists sank our nuclear development programs with an hysterical reaction to Three Mile Island. The result of this hysteria has been death and disease – due to mine and oil industry accidents, particulates in the air, and the continuing need to protect the oil supplies in the Mideast with military force.

Even the former president of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, has stated that he was wrong to protest nuclear energy, given the safety record of nuclear in the rest of the world where it is largely employed. Here also is an excerpt from a recent article in TCS Daily:

“The irony is that the beneficiary of Monday's ruling won't be wind power, solar power, or any of the other renewable technologies favored by the Green establishment. Their economic and technological limitations are too severe for them ever to occupy more than a small niche in the American energy economy. Instead, one of the winners from Massachusetts v. EPA just may be something that many of the environmentalists who brought the suit have long abhorred: nuclear power. Like renewables, nuclear power generates electricity with no pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions. But unlike renewables, nuclear is capable of generating reliable power on a massive scale, which is what our country's future energy demands will require.

Nuclear power is on the verge of making a comeback in the United States. Thanks to several favorable provisions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, as well as a streamlined licensing process, it is possible we could see the construction of new plants start within several years. The economics for new plant construction are still being worked out, particularly with regard to financing and federal loan guarantees. But there can be no doubt that federal efforts to hamstring coal can only help nuclear. Moreover, any future regulatory scheme allowing nuclear power plant operators to earn credits for generating emissions-free electricity would enhance nuclear's attractiveness to investors.” TCS Daily

It would be a wonderful development for the future of our country if liberals and conservatives could come together to support a Manhattan Project style development program to build 100’s of nuclear plants – even if their motivations do not coincide. These plants could even use the PBR design in which there is no possibility of a meltdown. Except for the Russian experience with a poorly designed and constructed plant with no containment structure and shoddy operation, the world’s safety record with existing designs has been superlative.

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